Physical connectivity, institutional connectivity, and people-to-people connectivity make up the three-pronged approach which human resources development (HRD) ministers from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies promise to use to build a stronger function.

This was the theme echoed across the 6th HRD Ministerial Meeting by APEC held in Hanoi, under the theme of “Promoting quality employment and strengthening people-to-people connectivity through HRD.”

The 21 Pacific Rim members of APEC - comprising of HRD ministers from China, Hong Kong,  Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and 16 others - recognised the existing shortage of skilled talent, owing to demographic change, requires an investment in training and development.

They also proposed the establishment of an HR Development Centre in Vietnam to help improve employability.

The participation of women is another area for attention, with the committee citing "workplace gender discrimination, unequal pay, gender gaps in employment practices, and limited access to training" as the main impediments.

Sharing best practices in addressing work-family balance, and establishing paid family leave programmes were some solutions put forward.

Image: Supplied